Kazoo! #214: NIHILIST SPASM BAND (50th Anniversary Concert!) / JOE MCPHEE – Sept. 16th @ eBar

 In Pre 2018 Shows


The Nihilist Spasm Band of London, Ontario formed in 1965 playing store-bought kazoos, an instrument perfectly suited to its sum musical abilities. Soon, John Boyle, John Clement, Greg Curnoe, Bill Exley, Murray Favro, Hugh McIntyre and Art Pratten began to invent and elaborate a variety of handmade and adapted instruments that extended their individual personalities, all the while repudiating any notions of style, meter, tuning or harmony. Their amplified anti-music is widely considered the birth of noise as an unpopular genre, one that has become increasingly vital and current in sound and art today. Marking fifty years of unalloyed cacophony and contrarianism, the NSB reunites with a past guest recording artist and stage mate, Joe McPhee, of Poughkeepsie, New York.

The Nihilist Spasm Band today comprises John Boyle (drums, kazoo). John Clement (drums, bass, guitar), Bill Exley (voice), Murray Favro (guitar) Aya Onishi (drums, kazoo) and Art Pratten (Pratt-a-various, waterpipe). (Curnoe was killed in a bicycle accident in 1992. McIntyre died in 2004.) In addition to its weekly Monday night sessions at home, the band has appeared across Canada, Europe and even, occasionally, the United States, as well as two tours of Japan. From 1998 to 2003, it hosted five editions of the No Music Festival, in London and once in New York. Its debut LP, No Record (1968), an essential artifact of the freak avant-garde of the Sixties, has been reissued three times, on CD or vinyl, in 1996, 2000 and 2014. In 1992, the Nihilist Spasm Band became affiliated with Alchemy Records of Osaka, a testament to the seminal veneration with which it is regarded by the ne plus ultra Japanoise community. In 2002, Onishi immigrated to Canada to join the band as “permanent guest artist.” In addition to their part-time, now golden-age careers as “noisicians,” several members, past and present, are highly regarded visual artists.

Joe McPhee (saxophones, pocket trumpet) is one of the premier exponents of free-improvised jazz. He embodies a living connection to the first-generation “fire music” revolutionaries of New York, such as saxophonist Archie Shepp and poet Amiri Baraka. McPhee’s recorded debut was with the Clifford Thornton New Art Ensemble on Freedom & Unity (1967). By 1969 and 1970, he issued the first LPs under his own name, compiled and reissued in 2013 as Nation Time: The Complete Recordings. Now 75, McPhee continues to indefatigably play and record around the world, often with such likeminded titans of the horn as Peter Brötzmann, Evan Parker or Ken Vandermark.

Kazoo! #214: Wednesday September 16th
@ eBar (41 Quebec St)
All Ages / LIC – Doors 9pm -$12

Presented as part of the Guelph Jazz Festival‘s “Jazz Around Town”.

Poster by Nathan Campagnero

Recent Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt